Me in a oversized white shirt, trying to look interesting…
March has ended. Since several days ago.
Hard to believe it’s April already. Harder to understand why the weather is still winter mode where I live. We had snow a few days ago and they expect snow again on Friday and again on Sunday. It’s 34 degrees as I write.
What’s up folks? Did I already mention that I released a second single from my album? If I did already, I hope you’ll forgive me for mentioning it again, but you know how it is? When you’re an independent artist, you have to kind of plug your stuff at every chance otherwise it gets no traction. In my case, even when you plug it gets no traction. Y’all just laugh and laugh and laugh at me. But don’t feel too bad. Some of my own flesh and blood are laughing at me too. But guess what? It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do. And I hope those of you reading who are faced with a similar challenge will have the courage to keep going after your goals and dreams no matter how much rejection you face.
Well, my post is titled ‘Selfie therapy Wednesday – oversized white shirt’. I did not actually take the selfies today. I took them last Saturday. Or maybe it was last Friday. I can’t quite recall. I just threw on one of my hubby’s white shirts, fashioned a head scarf out of a white t-shirt and spent a few hours taking pictures of myself.
I have battled depression for most of my life, and while it might be hard to imagine how, taking pictures of myself has been a therapeutic activity for me. I’ve been doing it before the selfie era–before there were cellphones. It helped me in my battle against low self esteem. It helped me to learn to see myself through my own eyes. This was very important because I hated the sight of myself so much that I would tear myself out of family photographs and refuse to be photographed on account of believing that I was ugly based on how I looked in pictures. I didn’t understand that my self-consciousness made me unable to relax when being photographed. I didn’t understand that because I was so self-conscious my face and body tensed up whenever my picture was being taken. I became anxious and awkward and so my pictures showed me in a light that reflected how I was feeling inside at the time that the picture was taken. My facial expression and my pose were a reflection of my shyness and my discomfort with being photographed. When I take pictures of myself I have no reason to be self conscious. I can relax and pose and make a million faces. And I have discovered things about myself this way. I have learned about my personality through taking pictures of myself, because it’s only when I am alone with myself and my camera that I am able to be authentic. Any time I have tried to be myself around other people, they have made me feel self-conscious and ashamed in some way or another. So I value my times with my camera. Because I get to remove the masks that I wear in the roles that I play when other people’s eyes are observing me. I am completely uninhibited and I can be myself without concern or regard for people’s expectations. I know it looks like vanity from the outside, but it really is therapy.
Going back to what I was saying above about continuing to go after your goals, I’ve faced only ridicule for the most part since releasing my second single. And my first single has so far earned me $1.30. Last week I submitted my song on a website where music bloggers can review your work if they like it. The bloggers I contacted declined interest, and for a minute there I was starting to feel like I must really suck. But then I pulled back a little bit and had a talk with myself. And I realized that it’s my job protect my psyche. And people’s opinions cannot directly damage my psyche. I first have to take their opinion and process it in my mind, and think about it long enough, then allow a conversation to take place in my head which activates the necessary chemicals inside of me to produce the feelings that damage my psyche. Only I can cause myself to feel pain and hurt and shame and all those self-worth crushing emotions by taking people’s opinions and beating myself down with them.
I have come to understand that if you do the things you do for the benefit to your soul, then you don’t subject yourself to assessment and ability tests. And when you don’t subject your self expression to worth and value assessment, you don’t despair over people not seeing worth and value in you and your work. Because you’re doing what you do just as part of the process of breathing. It’s for the sustaining of your life, and as long as it is sustaining you, it is serving its purpose. It’s only when you begin to want and need others to assess your ability and validate your worthiness, that is when you begin to measure yourself on scales that tell you that you suck and you’re worthless. So do what you want to do, do it for yourself and don’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks.